Tennessee Primary Results: Fleischmann Squeaks By; DesJarlais Race Still Close
Posted at 11:08 p.m. on Aug. 7
DesJarlais faced a big challenge. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated: 11:00 a.m. | It was a night of small margins in Tennessee Thursday with one House Republican narrowly defeating his primary challenger and another clinging to a 33-vote lead headed into Friday morning.
The Associated Press called the race for Rep. Chuck Fleischmann with 98 percent of precincts reporting in Tennessee’s 3rd District. Fleischmann garnered 50.8 percent of the vote against venture capitalist Weston Wamp, the son of former Rep. Zach Wamp.
Fleischmann will face Democrat Mary Headrick in November, a contest rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Over in the Volunteer State’s 4th district, initial numbers showed Rep. Scott Desjarlais with a 33-vote lead with all precincts reporting, but those numbers were updated Friday morning, and left DesJarlais trailing by 2. The AP has not yet called that race.
Revelations that DesJarlais had encouraged an ex-wife and a mistress to have multiple abortions, and that he carried on multiple affairs with patients and co-workers, dried up the congressman’s cash flow and earned him a spot on CQ Roll Call’s list of the 10 most vulnerable members of Congress.
As DesJarlais saw his war chest diminish, Tracy raked in funds for his bid. As of July 18, Tracy had outspent DesJarlais by a more than 3-to-1 margin, including ads and mailers that hit DesJarlais on his personal scandal. No matter the outcome of the primary, the district is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Christina Bellantoni and Cameron Easley contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: This post was updated to reflect Tennessee’s proper nickname.
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